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‘Tis the season

Published: September 7, 2007
Section: Sports


During my first semester at Brandeis, the Red Sox won the World Series. As a New Jersey resident, I did not come to college caring much about the Sox, or baseball in general. However, the infection was impossible to avoid, and by October I was as caught up in the end of the curse as anyone else. It was a good month, witnessing Boston defeat the Yankees – in the greatest comeback in sports history – and then sweep the Cardinals. At the same time, the Patriots began their march to an eventual Super Bowl victory, much to my chagrin and to the delight of all my new Massachusetts friends. Many of my Sunday afternoons were spent getting heckled by Pats fans, as my favorite team, the New York Giants, stumbled to another mediocre finish.

Now, three years later, the first weekend of the term coincided with two enormous sports stories. One of the largest upsets ever in college football occurred when Div-1AA Appalachain State defeated Number 5-ranked Michigan, and Red Sox rookie Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter in only his second Major League start. For a sports fan, it was a weekend that has carried on into a week of stories and analysis.
All of this is meant to illustrate a simple point: Fall is easily the best season to be a sports fan.

There are many reasons for this assessment. Fall is when baseball season hits the stretch run, and then moves into the playoffs. (Lets be honest. Do you care about baseball games in July? I dont either.) Fall is also when both college football and the NFL kick off, when the NHL begins (assuming that we are in a non-lockout year) and when the NBA starts its season and handles whatever scandal it is currently in the midst of.

Weekends in the fall should at least be partially spent biting your nails, worrying that the Sox are going to blow their six game AL East lead. It should be spent contemplating the intricacies of the BCS, and wondering how many weeks NHL referees are actually going to call obstruction penalties before reverting to the previous seasons form. It should be spent cooking burgers and watching the Ohio State-Michigan football game with a couple of Ohio residents, who call their Ohio relatives after Ohio touchdowns. This year, it should also be spent watching the American national soccer team try to recapture the Womens World Cup, which it lost in 2003.

Now, my designation obviously leaves out some important events: March Madness and the Olympics immediately jump to mind. But for sheer volume of sporting insanity, fall is always going to be the season even if the Yankees win the World Series.